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Hamilton gives fire truck to Quebec site of train disaster

Hamilton is donating one of its old fire trucks to the small Quebec town devastated by a train derailment.
The city of Hamilton is donating one of its older fire trucks to Lac-Mégantic, Que., which was devastated by a train derailment in July. (Terry Asma/CBC)

Hamilton is donating one of its old fire trucks to a small town in eastern Quebec recently devastated by a train derailment.

The city will give a surplus 1993 truck to Lac-Mégantic, Que. The truck is no longer suitable for a major urban centre, the city says, but in a rural community, it has years of service left.

The donation is Hamilton’s way of supporting “a community that suffered tremendous loss and sorrow during the devastating train derailment and explosion this summer,” Mayor Bob Bratina said.

On July 6, a train derailment and explosion killed 47 people and destroyed about half of Lac-Mégantic's downtown. 

The city of Hamilton declared the Spartan Custom Monarch fire truck, formerly known as Ladder 16, surplus after it determined cost of ongoing maintenance is greater than the truck’s value. It saw front-line action for 20 years, fire chief Rob Simonds said.

“I am proud that it will be put to good use and continue saving lives and property in Quebec,” he said in a press release Monday.

Colette Roy-Laroche, mayor of Lac-Mégantic, issued a statement thanking the city. “Without the courage of our fire fighters, our city would have been completely destroyed,” she said.

“On our road to recovery, we need to feel safe again…We also lost our ladder truck during this fatal fire. I was deeply moved when I found out you were going to give us one of your ladder trucks.”

Lac-Mégantic fire service representatives will be in Hamilton Wednesday for the official truck donation.

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